Smiling Moose Deli recently opened four new locations in Cincinnati, Ohio; Rapid City, South Dakota; Bozeman, Montana; and Fargo, North Dakota. Smiling Moose Deli has also expanded its menu with the release of a brand new dish called Mo!Mac, a combination of the signature Mighty Mo! and classic Mac ‘n Cheese.
While Smiling Moose Deli is expanding their geographic range, adding to the diverse menu of chopped salads, all-day breakfast choices, soups, cold and hot sandwiches, and wraps is just as important. Intent on offering variety, Smiling Moose introduced Mo!Mac to the menu. The dish features Mac 'n Cheese layered with chopped sirloin, bacon, diced tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, Parmesan cheese, and a dusting of salt and pepper.
Franchisees Joe Plattner and Jon Gilday discovered Smiling Moose Deli on a ski trip to Vail, Colorado.
“We ate at the Smiling Moose every day! We not only saved money compared to eating at the ski area, but we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of hearty meals that satisfied the hunger we generated from skiing all day,” they say.
They say they appreciated the spirit of the franchise and determined the Colorado-based franchise would be a good fit in their Clifton Heights community, east of Cincinnati, Ohio. The partners plan to open two more locations in the area by 2015. Abby Bridges grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota, and has many family and friends in the area, so it was the perfect location for her second Smiling Moose Deli, located just off of I-90. When she opened her first location in Gillette, she knew she wanted to open more than one and thought the small fast-casual restaurant model could meet that objective. “I like the idea of management, creating jobs, and positively affecting the local economy,” she says.
Nathan Everson also knew he wanted to open more than one Smiling Moose Deli when he put his hat into the ring two years ago with his first Fargo, North Dakota, location. He was just surprised it was in the same town. Everson’s new Downtown Fargo location was entirely the result of customer feedback and demand.
“I am particularly excited about being a part of revitalizing downtown Fargo,” he says. “Our new location was intentionally designed with a little more edge. We have a unique coffee concept where we work with a local roaster, who depending upon the season, will find raw coffee beans from around the world. He then roasts them, and delivers them to us the next day. We take over from there, grind them, put them in a gravity press, and let them brew. Customers slow down and enjoy the process, appreciating the delicious and aromatic result.”
Keeping up with the fishing, hunting and skiing crowds of Bozeman, Montana, led franchisee Sharon Stachlowski to open up a second location in Bozeman. “The fast-growing Four Corners is the busiest intersection in Montana: gateway to the airport, Big Sky ski resort, rivers, and golf courses,” she says.
Situated in a commercial location that looks more like an 1800’s store front, her customers enjoy the option of either sitting down for a meal, surrounded by pictures that depict the Bozeman area 150 years ago, or the convenience of the drive-thru window.
Notably, these four new locations now put Smiling Moose Deli over the 20-plus locations mark for the fast casual restaurant franchise. The Moose has seen steady growth since opening the first location in Edwards, Colorado, in 2003. This year, plans include five more locations under development for North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota.